Love your “place”- Do you?

Watch Hill, RI

Dear Tina & friends~

The butterflies set in over the long weekend when I got an email from Juli Rankin Mancini asking if she could interview me for her column with Delighted, curious, anxious, nervous, flattered-Yes, YES, Yes to all of that! I was no short of emotions that was for sure. Tina and I have been blessed to have been interviewed several times for our collaborative work (Artful Blogging, Cassie Premo Steele’s Co-Creating Show (see right side bar) and the Narragansett times) and although I was a tad nervous for those interviews, I felt even MORE jittery because it was the first time I would be running solo. An interview completely about ME as a local artist/business woman! Can you believe it? What can I say, I was over the moon giddy, anxious and immensely grateful for the opportunity!

Our docks. One of my favorite things to do is taking the dinghy’s out to the beach at Bluff Point with my honey and some friends. Summer at it’s best!

During our interview I was asked some of the usual questions like, Where are you from? What inspires you? and What do you love about where you live? I shared the last question with Brett who got a good chuckle over it because I have struggled with where we live since I moved to Groton, not entirely loving it here (largely due to the noise). At the beginning of the year I decided to turn that around and REALLY appreciate my surroundings. I made a decision that “my home would be my sanctuary” and set this idea on fire by making it one of my affirmations for the year. As I continue to explore my surroundings, I find myself going deeper within and finding such magic in everything. I have realized once again that home is often within and you can find peace wherever you are (even when you live on a noisy street~ha!). Tending my garden both literally and metaphorically has allowed me to pause and truly appreciate what I have. I am fortunate to live right on the water, have met some really good friends in CT, have a growing art and teaching practice and the love of a good man. Where I was once completely homesick for NH I have learned that moving was necessary for me in order to grow.

A glimmer of what’s blooming in my garden

Much like my garden which is ablaze with growth and change, I can feel myself growing and changing as well. I am challenging myself to read more and learn new things which I can then share and integrate into my teaching. Sabrina Ward Harrison once said, “teach what you most want to learn” and that is exactly what I will be doing this summer. I have a nice line up of classes and workshops at the Mystic Arts Center, the i5 Teaching Network and at my cozy studio.

Laura Gaffke, “Immersed in Life” acrylic, 18 x 18 inches ©the artist

ALL of the classes fill me up, but I am particularly looking forward to stretching myself with two classes I have never taught before, Travel Journaling & Soulful Landscapes. (Travel Journaling starts this Thursday and runs for five weeks.) As I learned about Travel journaling I have been revisiting past trips and reflecting on moments I wish to savor. I have been pooling over old pictures, sketching, writing and feeling, as I allow the memories to flood in. This is giving me TONS of ideas for my artwork! Sometimes you need to go back before you can go forward.

Here are a few pictures from some of my past trips:



I often “travel” to my garden where I am inspired and continue to grow, so sometimes you don’t need to go very far.

These are some contour line drawings of flowers in my garden.

What do you most love about where you live? Where are your favorite places to travel? I would love it if you shared your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Maybe there is a place you have dreamed of going to and you just want to put it out there. AMAZING things happen when you do this! Each one of you offers such unique perspective on the world and I believe we can all learn and benefit from sharing. Thanks for taking the time to add to  the “conversation”.


I will let you know when the article will be published and leave you with my “classes at a glance.” Course descriptions can be found on my website.

Classes at a Glance

May 26-June 23—-> Altered Books

June 2-June 23—-> Travel Journaling

July 9—->Folding Book Sculpture *Workshop

July 27-Aug. 24—-> Soulful Landscapes

July 28—->The Art of Collage *Workshop

July 29-Aug. 26—->Art & Imagination (children)

Aug. 4—-Book Frame *Workshop





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